What is the Water Diet and does it Work?
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There is a huge number of diets at your disposal and they all promise miraculous results when it comes to losing weight and getting the figure of your dreams, which means that you need to be very careful in order to make healthy choices. Water diet is no different in spite of its numerous variations supposedly tailored to your individual needs: whether it’s about water fasting for several days or simply drinking plenty of ice cold water in addition to your regular meals, you must pay attention that your body gets all the nutrients important for its proper functioning on the daily basis. Let’s take a look at what water diet is exactly about and if it really works!
What is the Water Diet?
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Water diet has many forms, but they all have something in common – they are definitely drastic and surely not among the healthiest choices you can make in life. The most extreme version of the water diet will require you to just drink water on the fist days and after that add only certain types of fruits and vegetables to your dietary regime, while other recommendations will allow you to have only apples with the water you’ll be drinking. Some dietitians will tell you that this not exactly a diet but a water fast, and doctors will agree that if you really must try it out, the best thing would be to stick to water fasting for just a really short amount of time.
The basic idea behind it is that if you consume 8 glasses of ice cold water every day in addition to your usual fluid intake, you’ll speed up your metabolism and burn extra calories because your body needs to work much harder and faster to heat up that water in order to maintain your normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees. Technically speaking, the colder the water you’re drinking is, the more calories your body will burn, but it doesn’t come without a risk. Drinking extremely cold fluids is definitely not for everybody and even if you manage to do it without consequences and end up losing weight, it’s very likely that you’ll battle with hunger and experience the yo-yo effect once you stop dieting.
Does Water Diet Actually Work?
Water has zero calories, so if you manage to stick to replacing some or even all of your food with water, you’ll definitely start losing a lot of weight due to the enormous reduction in your calorie intake. However, the loss will be the most prominent in the first days before your body manages to adjust to the new situation and activate protective mechanisms needed to secure your survival in drastic situations. It’s not that much about body fat – you’ll be mainly losing water and more muscle mass than people on diets that permit them to eat everything, as long as they ingest 500-700 calories less than they usually take in one day. Once your metabolic rate drops and your body shuts down to preserve some of those much needed energy stores, the amount of the weight loss will decline and once you get off the water fasting you’ll need to eat much less than you used to in order to maintain your new shape.
Pros and Cons of the Water Diet
Water diet is simple and inexpensive – you don’t have to spend a lot of money on special ingredients and get involved in time-consuming meal preparations, all you need to do is pour yourself a glass of tap or bottled water that you kept in the fridge and hydrate your body. If you drink plenty of water especially in between your meals, you’ll feel fuller and you won’t crave that much sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks packed with additives and preservatives. Also, your kidneys will work better and your liver will benefit from your water fast as well, because you’ll manage to flush out the toxin buildup from your body in a fast and effective way.
As for the cons, one of the crucial things you need to pay attention to is not to drink extreme amounts water at one time (we’re talking about liters of water ingested all at once) because water overload can cause serious health problems, such as excessive sweating that can lead to dehydration, kidney problems, disrupted balance of salts in your body and brain swelling. Don’t take this lightly – serious water intoxication or hyponatremia can even be fatal, so if you’re on a water diet, be sure to distribute your water supplies in even portions throughout the whole day.
Also, pay attention to your blood sugar levels, it is not wise to mess with them – water has zero calories, which means that it contains zero sugar as well, and your brain needs sugar in order to function properly. If you don’t ingest anything else but water on those first days of your water diet it is very likely that you’ll experience some unpleasant symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, fatigue and intolerance to cold, not to mention the possibility to lose consciousness, fall and hurt yourself, or even end up in a hospital to get your condition stabilized.
How Much Water is Enough for You and When Should you Drink it?
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You’ll be the one making the final choice, but the general recommendation would be that it is more than enough to drink the amount of water that equals half of your body weight measured in ounces in one day – for example if you weigh 150 pounds, try taking 75 ounces of water per day. Drink water often – have one glass immediately after waking up and again 30 minutes before each of your low calories meals, because the best thing is to combine water diet with eating simply smaller portions of your usual meals. The water will make you feel fuller and prevent overeating. It is also good to get some water after the meal to aid digestion and prevent constipation. The last but not the least, each time you finish exercising be sure to drink some water to replenish your body stores and compensate lost fluids.
Water is great for you and it can surely help you lose weight, but it shouldn’t serve as a substitute for a good meal. Your body will be grateful to you if you keep it properly hydrated every day, not only at times when you decide to follow the water diet. If you want to get a slimmer body and maintain that shape, you’ll need to make healthy eating a way of living, water alone isn’t a magic solution you’re probably searching for. Willpower, hard work and perseverance are indispensable when it comes to eating or any other aspect of your life.
Have you tried the water diet and what do you think about water fasting? Share your experiences and opinions with us!